For a very Cherryh Christmas (or Hannukah, or --?), give the SF fans on your list the five Chanur books in two omnibus volumes: The Chanur Saga, and Chanur's Endgame, (the latter available new and published this year).
I liked the Chanur saga: The Pride of Chanur, Chanur's Venture and The Kif Strike Back, but I absolutely loved the Chanur's Endgame - the omnibus finis of the saga, with Chanur's Homecoming completing Pynafur's tale, and Chanur's Legacy moving on to the story of the mature Hilfy as captain of her own ship.
I had doubts that I could enjoy Hilfy's story as much as Pyanfur's books, but it was everything I could have hoped for. I give both books in Chanur's Endgame a five star rating - and if it were possible, I'd give it a ten.
Pyanfur's finale was full of political double-cross, suspenseful action, and the extremely alien aliens that Cherryh does so well. Pyanfur played for the highest possible stakes in a game of cross-species brinkmanship that would result in the destruction of her home world and her entire species if she made one false move.
Hilfy's story was an amusing revelation of the shto', and has an ending I'll never forget. I love the humor and the intelligence that permeates C.J. Cherryh's writing. This Science Fiction fan says of the Chanur books: highly recommended.